Nigeria Civil Rights Group Drags 2 Governors to ICC over killings
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, One of the Governors dragged before ICC
London, Jan. 21, 2018 (AltAfrika)-A Nigeria Civil Rights Group, Initiative for Civil Rights Advancement in Nigeria, ICRAN, has dragged the governors of Taraba and Benue states to Internationa Criminal Court, ICC over the killings in the states by suspected herdsmen.
ICRAN in its petition dated Tuesday, January 16, signed by Yakubu Bulama, the group information officer and addressed to the office of Madame Fatou Bensouda, the prosecitor, ICC, urged the ICC to open an investigation on the accused persons according to Article 15 (1) of the Rome Statute as it appears that so much stories are being cooked up and sold to security agencies and the media in Nigeria as to what must have prompted the gruesome killings.
The group narrated events that led to the crisis along border axis of Taraba and Benue state.
It reads inter alia: “Suffices to state that our policy evaluators who attended a security meeting in Makurdi, Benue State in the latter part of year 2017 can confirm that Governor Ortom warned the Nigeria Police Force to step aside and be ready to act as mere observers during the 2019 general elections as the Livestock Guards together with the Civilian Joint Task Force which he set up have been mandated to violently intimidate the opposition party out of the way so he can rig election for purposes of achieving his second term bid on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC)”.
It said group is disenchanted that Governor Ortom who is the Chief Security Officer of Benue State saddled with the duty of protecting his people has abdicated his duty and failed in all ramifications to deliver the dividends of governance. He said the Governor Ortom has become so obsessed with the pursuit of his second term ambition that he now cares less about the security and welfare of Benue people, which Section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) clearly made “the primary purpose of government.
“It is safe to posit that the coordinated attacks launched by Fulani herdsmen on Benue indigenes this time around is centered on the selfish actions and inactions of Governor Ortom. The attacks have nothing to do with implementation of the Benue Anti-Open Grazing Law, 2017,” the petition added.
ICRAN further urged the ICC to formerly submit to the pre-trial chamber of the court a request for authorization of an investigation of the accused under Article 15 (3) of the Rome Statute.
It said: “That the ICC Prosecutor obtain International Arrest Warrants for the Accused from the ICC in accordance with Articles 58 (1) (a), 58 (1) (b) (i), 58 (1) (b) (ii) and 58 (1) (b) (iii) and proceed to arrest the Accused so they can face their trial.
“That the ICC Prosecutor compels the Accused upon conviction to pay compensation to the victims of genocide at Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of Benue state as well as Mambilla Plateau in Sardauna local government area of Taraba state in the sum of $1,000,000,000 (One Billion US Dollars) each as punitive damages.
“That the ICC Prosecutor compels the Federal Government of Nigeria to set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the allegations contained herein beyond the ongoing media charade calculated to deceive the general public.
“That Governor Samuel Ortom and his Taraba state counterpart, Darius Dickson Ishaku be accordingly investigated and tried for abdication of duty and instigation of war crimes against humanity to serve as deterrence to other State Governors who are planning to arm local militias for purposes of the forthcoming 2019 General Elections or outright ethnic cleansing”.